Since losing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute in the recent free agency, the Houston Rockets have been active on the trade market, searching for a defensive-minded player to fill their hole in the wing. They have already inquired about Jimmy Butler and offered the Minnesota Timberwolves a trade package including four future first-round picks. Unfortunately, the trade negotiation didn’t push through as the Timberwolves were asking for more valuable trade assets in return.
If they fail to acquire Jimmy Butler, the Rockets should consider targeting another player who could help them address the issues on their team. According to Chris Guest of Fansided‘s Soaring Down South, the Rockets may consider engaging in a trade deal with the Atlanta Hawks involving Kent Bazemore.
“For the Rockets, while Butler might be the more interesting ceiling play, Bazemore would be an immediate upgrade to a roster that is loaded with cast-offs and has-beens (no offense to Michael Carter-Williams and Atlanta Hawks legend Carmelo Anthony). Baze would be a perfect fit for the Rockets layup and triple-focused offense, and it would be fun to watch Baze defend the gauntlet of gifted guards and wings in the Western Conference on a nightly basis.”
Though we love Kent Bazemore, it's never too early to gauge his trade value as well as some potential packages to get him to a contending team in the league. Read on to peep 3 Early Trade Scenarios for Baze. #TrueToAtlanta FULL STORY: https://t.co/Tn7sfuh0Ip— Soaring Down South (@SoaringDwnSouth) November 5, 2018
In the proposed trade deal, the Rockets will be sending Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, and a 2019 unprotected first-round pick to the Hawks for Kent Bazemore. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If this trade proceeds, it will help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
With the Hawks currently in the middle of a rebuilding process, it will be best for them to trade their veterans for players who could be part of their long-term plan. Marquese Chriss, a former No. 8 pick, will give the Hawks a young big man to develop around Trae Young, while the future draft pick will enable them to add another young and promising talent on their roster.
Meanwhile, the potential acquisition of Kent Bazemore will undeniably improve the Rockets’ defense, which currently ranks 18th in the league, allowing 109 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. Bazemore can definitely fill the hole left by Trevor Ariza in the wing, and he will also give the Rockets a reliable three-pointer. In the nine games he played this season, Bazemore is averaging 14.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 48.5 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc.
As of now, it remains unknown if there is an ongoing trade negotiation between the Rockets and the Hawks involving Kent Bazemore. Expect more rumors to circulate before the February NBA trade deadline.